Friday, March 29, 2013

ARC Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Goodreads summary:

Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

My review:

Going into this, I was afraid it wouldn't live up to my expectations - I loved Pushing the Limits so much, I wondered if this companion novel would manage to be as good.  Well, Dare You To surpassed my expectations and more.  It's just as raw and beautiful and addictive as Pushing the Limits is.

We already know Beth a little, as we were introduced to her in the first book.  Ryan, however, is a new character.  And okay, I admit it, I like Ryan better than Noah. :) It took me a while to start liking Noah in Pushing the Limits, but Ryan?  He's so sweet and real.  I loved him!  (Oh, and did I mention he's a writer?  That made him like ten times more swoon-worthy!)

I love Beth too.  Heck, I love all the characters in this book; they are never cliche, and are all so realistic and relatable.  Like Beth's Uncle Scott.  I love his character and how he gives Beth a second chance and is genuinely trying to help her.  And Lacy!  Oh my word, she might have just been a minor character, but she was oh-so-awesome.  The way she sticks up for Beth and remains a friend to her no matter what, is so touching and sweet.

Back to Beth...she's tough on the outside, but she's hurting on the inside.  At first, she's almost a hard character to like, but when you realize how hard she's trying to save her mother, you can't help sympathizing for her and rooting for her.  She transformed into such a powerful, amazing character.

The romance was absolutely perfect.  I was so worried it would come across as cheesy or unbelievable, but never once did it feel unrealistic.  Katie McGarry writes romance so well.  Really, there are no more words to say.  I adored it.

And the writing?  Amazing!  It hooks you right from the beginning and the story's paced perfectly.  I never got bored with the story or thought it stretched out too long.  The writing is just so addicting, and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

Dare You To is a must-read for sure.  It's more than just a cute romance - it's real and heartbreaking and that's what makes it so perfect.  Katie McGarry is definitely one of my favorite contemporary authors.  I'm insanely excited to read the third book, Crash Into You!  Goodreads says that it comes out in November; so hopefully that's true - I won't be able to wait any longer than that! :)

My rating:  10 out of 10 (5 stars)

~ The Bookworm

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